DESPITE being a relatively obscure name, Skyteam is not new in Malaysia. The brand was established in 2012 and slowly gained traction as a manufacturer of small capacity hobby bikes, such as the Lady 110 and PBR 110. With a network of over 150 dealers nationwide, Skyteam (M) Sdn Bhd is breaking new ground by introducing an (almost) full-size motorcycle to the Malaysian market. Launched at the Elite Speedway Go-Kart Circuit in USJ Subang on May 9, the media finally got their turn at the new Ace 125.
The Ace 125 café racer is an almost carbon-copy replica of Honda’s famous RC racers of the 1960s. The long slim tank and short stubby tail allied with tall, slim tyres render a silhouette that is unmistakably RC. The only difference is that the RC racers had low clip-on handlebars while the Ace sports conventional tubular bars. After all, the Ace was designed for the streets.
Technically, the Ace is a four-stroke, air-cooled OHV pushrod engine with a carburettor and CDI ignition. The proven engine is tweaked (from its Honda CG125 roots) with differing bore and stroke, compression ratios, gear ratios and numerous updates (like an electric starter) to still retain the reliability while improving performance. The kick starter is still there in case the battery is flat. Output from the 5-speed engine unit is 11 bhp @ 8500 rpm while torque is 8.5 Nm @ 7500 rpm. The engine is counterbalanced to produce very little vibration. The bike is reportedly capable of more than 110kph while returning a miserly fuel consumption of 2.1 l/100km. Good figures indeed to match its good looks.
The track test proved that the Ace is definitely small. Miniscule, even. Tall people (near 6’ tall) would struggle to fit the Ace. I found my elbows overlapped my knees in a racing tuck, but in a normal riding position, the Ace is fairly comfortable. The steel diamond frame is conventional, sporting telescopic forks up front with twin shock at the rear. A disc brake up front and a drum rear stops the 87kg Ace fairly efficiently. The handling takes some getting used to with the raised “racing style” footpegs and lightning fast reflexes of the Ace. A set of clip-ons would restore balance (hint, hint). However, the Ace responds well to subtle control inputs and doesn’t require muscle to change direction. Overall, the handling is good within the soft suspensions’ limits.
The Ace 125 comes in three colours - Silver/Red, Matte Grey/Black and Racer Blue/Black. It retails for RM6,588.00 excluding GST or other taxes. Warranty is one year or 10,000km, whichever comes first. The café racer seat unit is given for free for the first few units and will eventually become an optional item. Beat a path to nearest dealer because this RC clone will sell like hot cakes.